“Every man’s memory is his private literature.” ~Aldous Huxley
I didn’t always drink coffee, but the first cup was so delicious, made with the expertise of a veteran coffee drinker some years back, that I incorporated caffeine into my daily schedule and like a feign sought to mimic it’s deliciousness. But this morning, as I poured the warm goodness and integrated it with Carmel Vanilla Cream, something unexpected happened. Ok so yes I was thinking about Blogging but not that. I was, however, brought back to those early days. Suddenly, I tasted of the past and images hurried to my thoughts like a wave of epiphany. With each sip it is as if I tasted of conversation and laughed at jokes once long faded away in memory. It reminded me of an article I read last week about scientist finally admitting that memory is stored in the DNA, and I do believe it’s true. Even if we cannot remember a moment, I believe we still live it in some way. Maybe we mimic the actions of what we can neither speak nor recall. Maybe something makes us laugh and we cannot explain why. Or perhaps there was an experience so traumatic that it disintegrated into our very skin, but is no longer accessible through the mind. Why is it that when we recall the past we include ourselves even if we had not lived it? “We were slaves” I say of my history, though I have never been anyone’s property and neither have I picked of anyone’s cotton. Could it be that this experience was genetically passed on to me? Indeed, I believe so. For who am I to be so arrogant as to believe I inherited my mother’s nose and not my ancestors ways? Their thoughts? Their promises?
Memory, like water it is an interesting thing. A substance that we use daily, that we cannot live without, and that we have even named and yet, we know nothing about it. For what is H2O really? I laugh at the boldness of man to think he has all the answers, and yet the things we use on a daily basis is still foreign to us. So, Nostalgia, the bringing forth of memory we either despise or long to experience again, perhaps it is much deeper than we think, and yet closer too.
When enrolling in college was one of the most important and exciting times in my life, I couldn’t make it to her office fast enough. I cannot recall her name, only the exciting rush of anxiety that ignited in my heart and up to the creases of my face. She wasn’t anyone of particular specialty or significance, but what she represented was indeed important. She was my academic adviser and seeing her meant that I was on the road to something great. If I had not “made it” it was the step in the right direction. Little did I know the kind of revelations choosing this particular institution would cough up for me. Little did I know how much my life would change from this seemingly unimportant choice, which would have nothing to do with school, academia, or some fancy certificate to prove to the world how much I actually lacked in knowledge.
But on that day, I was deeply troubled to find a need to rush home immediately, shortly after my excited arrival to her door, (though I had not registered my classes), which ran me the risk of not being able to attend the classes I was so excited to be a part of. As I sat in front of her I quickly chose the additional courses required of me which I had not deeply thought about, I was just anxious to leave due my intense emergency. Thus, for that reason (which I am not apt to mention here because it’s just none of your business 🙂 ), I discontinued my journey for the solemn one back home.
When I returned to the source of my redemption (so I thought back then), I found to my great disappointment the closing of one of my classes. Pieces of my day had so perfectly fit into its own schedule like the perfect puzzle, each class ending in time for the next one to begin, all in order like the perfect lyric over a tight beat—all was well. Except, now a word was out of place, a sentence incomplete; fragments of a schedule now off beat. “Why?” I asked myself, “…did I have to take a class so off schedule?” Unlike the rest, this African American studies course was the only class I had that day in the middle of the day (and it wasn’t even one of my primary classes, it was the one I rushed and chose the day before). I would now have to take public transportation (as I did not drive then), to this now dreadful place for one single class; this I did not have the bus fare for, and so you can imagine my discontent. However, seeing it was the only available course left I settled, and took the class anyway.
It didn’t turn out so bad though, and the first day of class would change my life forever. It would be the day I would actually meet my husband, and I would hear the voice of truth for the first time in 19 years. Instead of it being a dreadful one, this day would instead be something like the night before a revolution.
The purpose of this story is to show you the value in each decision we make. No matter how small or minute it may seem, each decision creates for us the next path like a molding of clay does a new form. Whether it is our desire to pursue a new career, attend a class or decide to take the bus North instead of South, every single decision you make puts you on the path to your tomorrow. It sounds cliche, but most cliches are such because of the depth of its truth. As each way has already been determined from the foundation of the world, we nonetheless make manifest that which has been done with the decisions we make. The irony in foresight is that we don’t have to be given the gift of hearing a doorbell ring before it does to possess this gift. But it exists naturally already in those who choose to acknowledge it. We may not be able to physically see the glass vase fall before it does, but we can choose to move it away from the edge of the counter, seeing that it may fall. We can decide what the next day will be like simply by carefully paying attention to each choice presented before us, letting truth lead, but choosing truth in the first place.
If we can choose our thoughts carefully, molding them into the right words and transforming these words into the exact representation of the action necessary for obedience; if faith can become works and works can produce righteousness, then maybe, just maybe we can develop a sense of foresight we didn’t know we had. Giving birth to a gift whose seed was already planted inside of us, but that we didn’t realize we had because we thought choosing to have cereal instead of oatmeal this morning was just about breakfast.